A person or business should register a trademark as soon as they think of one they plan to use, because a lawyer can protect that name even before it is implemented. Trademarks can include names, brand identifiers, trade dress, slogans, logos, and even certain sounds used for the business. Trademark registration is important because it will provide legal protection for a name and brand, and allows a business to file lawsuits against other entities infringing on their trademarks. Competitors cannot steal brand identifiers that have been registered.

You can hire a knowledgeable trademark attorney to do an in-depth search analysis in every state, and on the federal level, to research if somebody has a similar trademark registered already. The USPTO has identification manuals which can be used to identify classes for the trademark. Our Boca Raton trademark infringement lawyers at the Lomnitzer Law Firm have the experience to assist businesses and individuals with protecting your brand from copycats or defending your right to use a certain trademark.

What Is the Trademark Registration Process?

Anyone who is using a name or logo can file for trademark registration. They can also file for an intent to use trademark registration even if they are not actively using it yet. Lawyers will ask the client numerous questions about the trademark, such as when it was first used in commerce, how it is being used, and where it is being used. Then they determine the trademark classes it falls under, and extract some specimens to show the USPTO how it is being used. It will then be registered upon approval.

In addition, Boca Raton trademark infringement lawyers also offer a comprehensive search report to evaluate if the trademark is being used on a state and federal level. Importantly, anyone can register a trademark in their individual name, even if they do not have a business to use it for.

Legal Assistance With Registration

A person or business that does not work with a lawyer could potentially register a trademark with mistakes, which could trigger office actions from the USPTO. Responding to an office action is a lot more expensive to deal with than having an attorney properly register the trademark to begin with. In addition to any attorney’s legal fees, there is a USPTO filing fee of $250 per trademark class, so it is important to get it done correctly from the beginning.

Trademark License Agreement

A trademark license agreement allows the licensee to use the licensor’s trademark for a fee and a specific term. A licensing agreement should include the licensing rate, the terms, and the power to revoke if the trademark is not being used appropriately. The registration must be renewed every five years. A Boca Raton trademark infringement attorney can approach the licensor on a client’s behalf and negotiate an agreement, which would then be identified in writing through a contract.

If there is ever a petition to cancel a trademark by a third party, there is a possibility that the owner loses their right to use the trademark. They could also lose that right if they fail to file the proper maintenance documents and fees every five years. In addition, if the parties agree or if there is language in the contract that allows option periods, the license agreement can be extended.

Trademark Infringement

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark which is likely to cause confusion about the source of the goods or services on behalf of a potential consumer. It typically occurs when third parties are using a similar brand identifier or trademark that competes with the trademark item in the same or similar goods and services provided which may confuse consumers as to the source of the trademark.

In the event of a trademark infringement by a third party, the licensor should ask their Boca Raton attorney to send the third party a cease-and-desist letter or file a trademark infringement action in federal court. Trademark infringement can be considered a criminal offense, and the owner can sue for that violation. There may also be situations where a person is covered with their general liability policy if they are sued for trademark infringement.

The best way for someone to protect their trademark is to hire attorneys who can monitor trademarks resembling theirs that someone is trying to register at the USPTO.

How Does Someone Sue for Trademark Infringement?

To sue for trademark infringement, the owner must hire an attorney who conducts an investigation, drafts the infringement complaint, and files it in court. It is always best to sue for infringement if the owner sees someone else using their trademark because the similarity can confuse consumers, particularly if the accused third party is using their trademark in a negative way. It is always in a person’s or business’s best interest to protect their brand and avoid dilution in the marketplace.

If an unauthorized party has profited off a trademark, the trademark holder does have a right to claim the unauthorized party’s profit – known as disgorgement.

The production or sale of counterfeit goods is similar to trademark infringement in that they both can end up confusing the public as to the source of the brand. However, counterfeit goods have a different element to it, as the counterfeiter is attempting to pass the product off as the original, rather than simply using a similar trademark. Attorneys can represent either a claimant or defendant in a counterfeit goods case that involves trademark theft.

Get Representation From a Boca Raton Trademark Infringement Attorney

The Lomnitzer Law Firm represents individuals and businesses looking to protect their intellectual property from unauthorized use. A Boca Raton trademark infringement lawyer could also assist in defending the person accused of trademark infringement and reflect the proper affirmative defenses to determine if it was an infringement or was instead a defensible act.

We can also negotiate licensing agreements between plaintiffs and defendants currently involved in litigation, to settle the conflict. No matter the dispute, Lomnitzer Law is looking out for your best interests. Call us today for a private consultation.